Final Thoughts & Conclusion
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
BenQ took an interesting approach with the treVolo S that actually sets it apart from its big brother the treVolo that in my opinion make the treVolo S a better buy. BenQ in making the treVolo S, BenQ decided to add NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 (instead of the original treVolo’s 4.1 Support) Duo Mode, longer battery life but then removed aptX Support and the Microphone.
aptX requires a certification for the logo and use which would mean you would have to pay more for the rights and the microphone allows you to utilize your smartphone to speak through and answer from the treVolo instead of your phone. The microphone to me is a gimmicky feature because usually the speaker system is further away than your phone, so you would have to shout across the room, a useless feature maybe only used once or twice to show off the feature and then forgotten. The truly useful part though is that can be used for recording, but most of us would also only use that feature once or twice.
The treVolo S provides amazing audio for lossless formats, but without the aptX feature it does not help lossy lower quality audio files.
Let’s go over some of the Pro’s and Con’s of the treVolo S.
- Great set of features, NFC, 3.5mm, Bluetooth, 3D Sound, USB DAC
- Sexy and unique Design
- Decent cost comparatively
- Excellent audio experience
- Great to have in an office or even nearby outdoors
- Excellent replacement for laptop speakers
- Great battery life
- Bass is nice, but not over the top
- Lacking FM Radio
- Lossy audio outdoors
- No Microphone
- No Powerbank
- No SD Card slot
FM Radio would really come in handy for emergencies like a hurricane, power outage and things of the sort. With that, FM audio can’t really be considered Hi-Fi, but still it is an audio source. Even though a particular speaker would have FM Radio, how many times would you actually listen to it and adding an FM feature would surely drive the cost a bit more.
The treVolo S sounds amazing but provides the best experience when the sounds can be bounced off of walls. I bring that up because outdoors the sound does not carry as well with nothing to bounce off of, akin to connecting playing off of a 3.5mm connection. Bouncing the sound is not required for good audio, but with all sound systems it does help it travel and amplify the audio providing more of a surround sound experience.
As for the cost, its not the cheapest solution, not by far but quality is a must for things you want to hold on to. This has very nice sound and beautiful looks as well as great features but comparing prices I noticed that many of the higher cost speakers and most of the lower cost speakers are made by companies that are not reputable and are amazingly hideous. If I am paying this much money for speakers, I want them to come from a company I have at least heard of and not only sound great, but look nice too. I can see these speakers in a kid’s room to a doctor’s office, so they are elegant and practical.
A Powerbank is a handy feature but there is a trade-off. You can have a long battery life and a battery bank, but when you tap into that bank, you will drain the speakers battery and most battery banks in Bluetooth speakers are actually the capacity if not less than the capacity of newer cell phones.
Lastly, it does not include an SD Card slot. This one I have mixed feelings about and find it mostly useless but of course, there are uses. I find it useless because mostly it would be used in doors where you can access to Wi-Fi to allow you to stream your music through your phone through Bluetooth or if you have an unlimited data plan for your cell phone you can stream all the music you want and many times find new music you might like. This would also be the cause playing outdoors, if you have unlimited data. Using an SD card, you are limited to not only the capacity but by your selection of audio, you are confined to those songs alone when you can also have if you wanted those same songs stored on your phone, but we all have our favorites we can listen to when we want.
Another note regarding SD cards, speakers that utilize SD cards usually use low-end audio chipsets. Low-end chipset’s cannot decode lossless audio unless they are paired with another DSP to utilize these additional functions so it really becomes a quantity over quality kind of thing. Adding another acronym into the mix also makes it more expensive.
I love Metal, Rock, Ska and some punk, then I also love Symphony, Classical, Opera, Jazz and Blues. Most pieces of Metal, Rock and Ska don’t focus too much on Bass unless its Cliff or Robert (Metallica references) but when you dip more into the realm of Jazz and Blues, you get some more defined Cello, Tuba and the distinct sounds that can be low and still reach the highs of the Sax, you will get that here. Now if you are looking for thumping processed bass, these are not the speakers you are looking for. There is nothing processed about the audio you will get with these speakers, all refined.
There are some features missing, some might be more important than others but the cons here are outweighed by the Pros. Some features are gimmicky and some are needed, the needed features for a speaker are all here, but the cons cannot be forgotten and they do affect the overall rating.
With that, I give the BenQ treVolo S a 4 out of 5, a Recommended Buy. While it is not perfect, it is great and the loss of that one star is for room for improvement maybe adding features…. without adding a heftier price tag.
Great job BenQ.
Parts of me wanted to give the treVolo S a 5 out of 5 rating because of how nice it all sounded and all of the features but on the flip side I wanted to give it a 4 out of 5 because of the features it was missing. Extra features means extra cost, so there has to be a little give, and what they give you is good, dare I say great? With all the R&D they put into this, which is also factored into the cost, they could release at some point a treVolo S2 with some of the extra’s keeping the price tag the same as the treVolo S or even lower.
What do you guys think, I would love to hear back from you.
I have spent many years in the PC boutique name space as Product Development Engineer for Alienware and later Dell through Alienware’s acquisition and finally Velocity Micro. During these years I spent my time developing new configurations, products and technologies with companies such as AMD, Asus, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA and more. The Arts, Gaming, New & Old technologies drive my interests and passion. Now as my day job, I am an IT Manager but doing reviews on my time and my dime.